going beyond the ... going beyond the traditional the recent evolution of micro-credentials is...

Download GOING BEYOND the ... GOING BEYOND the TRADITIONAL The recent evolution of micro-credentials is providing

Post on 16-Jul-2020

0 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • MICROCREDENTIALS COMBINING THEORY WITH REAL-WORLD APPLICATION

    Many industry sectors are experiencing a shortage of skilled and qualified workers. While professional certifications are one way workers can demonstrate their qualifications, they are time and resource intensive coming to market. Also, some jobs require workers with specific skills, rather than the full range of knowledge and skills required to perform an entire job (traditional certification/traditional job). Professional Testing Inc. 7680 Universal Boulevard Orlando Florida 32819

    G O I N G B E Y O N D t h e T R A D I T I O N A L

    The recent evolution of micro-credentials is providing “just-in-time” credentialing for workers in emerging and rapidly evolving job markets. The clean-energy sector is one such rapidly growing job sector, with many workers from professions performing many components of many jobs. Developing micro-credentials is one strategy one clean- energy organization is using to develop assessment-based credentials that are focused on specific skills.

    Following accepted practices in measurement and assessment- development, and utilizing technology as the research and development platform, micro-credentials that save time and resources are providing a “real-time” solution to qualifying a work-force. The presentation will discuss one approach to developing a micro-credential from the exploratory phase through administration.

    PROFESSIONALTESTING INC. - 7680 UNIVERSAL BOULEVARD - SUITE 300 - ORLANDO FLORIDA 32819

    +1- 800-330-3776

    Online at: www.Proftesting.Com Visit our blog: www.FromTheItemBank.com

  • 1 MICROCREDENTIALS Preparing a Skilled Workforce in “Real Time”

    Developing a Micro-Credential

    The clean energy sector, similar to many other

    industries and professions, has relied on

    professional certifications and training programs to

    qualify its workforce. While credible, these

    “traditional” models typically require a significant

    amount of time to develop and get to market,

    substantial costs to administer, and rely on the

    continuous input of subject-matter experts (SMEs)

    to maintain. Often program development and

    maintenance activities require resources for SMEs

    to meet face-to-face, and for qualified facilitators

    such as psychometricians and experts to develop a

    body of knowledge (BOK) and an assessment.

    IREC approached Professional Testing Inc.1 to

    partner with them to develop an alternative

    approach to credentialing in the form of a micro-

    credential for the clean energy sector, one that is

    credible while saving time, money and human

    resources. The outcome is to build a prototype

    process organizations within the clean energy sector

    can use to bring a micro-credential to market. It is

    interesting to note that while the clean energy sector

    agreed that it needs an alternative approach to

    traditional credentialing programs, industry

    representatives did not agree on the type of

    alterative credential or how it would be developed.

    There are several approaches organizations can take

    in developing micro-credentials. Finding the right

    approach will inform the methodology utilized to

    develop the credential. In an exploratory planning

    meeting of renewable energy experts from IREC

    and assessment experts from Professional Testing

    (exploratory panel), two methodologies were

    considered: 1) selection of a job-function that

    combines functional elements of two different jobs,

    each of which has been defined by a job-task

    analysis (JTA) resulting in training and/or

    certification; and 2) selection of a job-function for

    which no job-task analysis has been conducted, but

    which is being performed in the workplace. The

    exploratory panel selected Option 1 as a starting

    point, as JTAs have defined existing jobs and job-

    tasks, and are therefore, a good point from which to

    launch a micro-credential. As previously noted, the

    clean industry sector has several certifications and

    training programs from which micro-credentials can

    be developed.

    Christine D. Niero, PhD Vice-President, Professional

    Certification. Professional

    Testing, Inc.

    Cniero@proftesting.com

    Christine DePascle, MS Psychometrician, Professional

    Testing, Inc.

    Cdepascale@proftesting.com

    Reed Castle, Ph.D. EVP & Chief Psychometrician,

    Professional Testing, Inc.

    Rcastle@proftesting.com

    Introduction

    Many industry sectors are experiencing a shortage of skilled and qualified workers, individuals who need to

    be “job-ready.” Not so coincidentally, many evolving forms of credentialing are clamoring for our attention

    to help workers document their skills, and employers to find job-ready personnel. Some of these evolving

    forms of credentialing include digital badges, alternative credentials (“alt creds”), verified certificates, nano-

    degrees and micro-credentials. For industries experiencing rapid growth, micro-credentials may be a

    solution to the challenge of qualifying individuals for jobs. Still largely undefined, but generally agreed to

    as a smaller, discrete, specialized opportunity for education and skills assessment, micro-credentials are

    useful for both learners wanting to achieve a level of proficiency in a skill, and workers seeking the same to

    remain current in and/or advance in their jobs, some of which may already require training or certification.

    In the United States, the clean energy sector is one industry that is experiencing rapid growth and has a

    shortage of qualified workers who can work across a myriad of job functions. It is also an industry that has

    seen the consequences of unqualified workers, both from the poor quality of work produced, low energy

    savings, and risks to worker and consumer safety. As a result, professional certifications1 were developed

    to enhance the quality of work, but only for core renewable and energy efficiency occupations. Meanwhile,

    the industry finds itself at the intersection of expanding jobs for individuals who work full time in clean

    energy fields and those working in allied industries that “touch” clean energy. Furthermore, as the industry

    has expanded, the need for a means of more quickly developing and documenting the skills and knowledge

    of workers has also grown. Developing micro-credentials is a strategy the Interstate Renewable Energy

    Council (IREC)1 is using to respond to this challenge of efficiently qualifying a workforce, minimizing the

    resources (time, money and personnel) required to do so, all while producing a credible and quality

    credentialing option for the clean energy sector.

    _____________________________________________

    1 Professional certifications are typically comprised of the components associated with awarding a certification, including a certification examination, eligibility for certification and qualifying for the exam, recertification, disciplinary procedures, governance structure and policies. 2 The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) develops quality and competency standards, accreditation and certification programs for clean energy educators and training programs for a highly-trained, quality-prepared workforce www.irecusa.org. The initiative to develop micro-credentials to address the need to more quickly prepare a skilled workforce is spearheaded by Jane Weissman, IREC’s President and CEO. 3 Professional Testing, Inc. is a full-service provider of assessment, evaluation, certification and accreditation services www.proftesting.com.

  • 02 APPROACHES

    Selecting an Approach

    “Utilizing technology is

    essential and may

    reduce resources

    required of traditional

    face-to-face meetings;

    while this is a highly

    desirable outcome, it

    cannot restrict feedback

    or quality of input. For

    example, not every step

    of development may be

    able to be optimally

    conducted in a virtual

    environment.”

    There are several approaches organizations can take in developing micro-credentials. Finding the right approach will inform the

    methodology utilized to develop the credential. In an exploratory planning meeting of renewable energy experts from IREC and

    assessment experts from Professional Testing (exploratory panel), two methodologies were considered: 1) selection of a job-

    function that combines functional elements of two different jobs, each of which has been defined by a job-task analysis (JTA)

    resulting in training and/or certification; and 2) selection of a job-function for which no job-task analysis has been conducted,

    but which is being performed in the workplace. The exploratory panel selected Option 1 as a starting point, as JTAs have defined

    existing jobs and job-tasks, and are therefore, a good point from which to launch a micro-credential. As previously noted, the

    clean industry sector has several certifications and training programs from which micro-credentials can be developed.

    Next, the exploratory pan